In today’s world, where we have access to unlimited information through our phones and computers, it is easy to forget that there is a whole wide world out there full of new experiences waiting for you as long as you’re willing to explore it.Traveling exposes us to different cultures and a variety of food that may be new or challenging for those who struggle with food habits at home.
If you experience an eating disorder and travel, the effects of your disorder will likely be heightened. Eating disorders are challenging enough at home but can become even more difficult while staying in another country. Where do you get support? What if you get sick and need to see a specialist quickly? Where do you find food that you can eat? These are questions that make traveling with an eating disorder incredibly difficult. However, there are ways to make it easier! Here are seven tips for people who experience eating disorders and travel:
It is important to pack snacks that will not trigger your eating disorder when traveling. This might be difficult if you are used to eating unhealthy foods, but it is crucial that you bring snacks to make you feel good and support your health goals.
It is good to pack healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain crackers. If you have a specific diet that you follow, like a gluten-free or dairy-free diet, be sure to pack snacks that fit into those restrictions. You might also want to bring along some water or seltzer to help quench your thirst and keep you hydrated.
If you are traveling by plane, be sure to check with the airline about their policies on bringing food onboard. Many airlines allow you to bring a small carry-on bag with snacks and drinks.
Plan your meals
When traveling, it is important to have a plan for each meal. This will help to avoid feeling overwhelmed or anxious about food. If you are traveling to a new country, do some research about the local cuisine in advance. This will give you an idea of what foods to expect and help you decide where to eat.
If you have dietary restrictions, be sure to plan for meals that fit into your anorexia or bulimia treatment plan. Many restaurants now cater to specific dietary needs, so there is no need to feel limited while traveling.
Bring a power bar
A power bar can help you get through a rough time if you unexpectedly get hungry or feel lost in the middle of a new city. The issue with eating disorder behaviors is that they tend to arise without much warning, so bringing snacks just in case might be helpful. Power bars are also suitable for balancing your blood sugar levels and give you an energy boost when needed.
Connect with other people who experience eating disorders and travel
Find out what tips and tricks other people suggest for staying safe while traveling. You can connect with others on online forums, such as Twitter groups, Facebook pages, and Instagram accounts dedicated to others who struggle with eating disorders. There are many active communities where you can chat about ideas related to travel.
Develop a routine
Establishing a routine while traveling can be helpful. If you know what meals and activities will take place each day, it is easier to cope with the stress of being away from home. This might mean packing your medication at a specific time or eating at a particular restaurant before other social engagements.
Many people who experience an eating disorder fear that they will get sick when they travel because their body’s tolerance for foods changes. In fact, research has found that women with bulimia nervosa have higher illness rates while traveling than those who do not have the disorder. This means that being on vacation does not protect you from getting sick and can make you more susceptible to illness.
Avoid restrictive eating while traveling
It is important to avoid restrictive eating while traveling, as this can lead to a binge-and-purge episode. This can ruin your trip and make you feel sick and exhausted. It is better to enjoy the local cuisine and indulge in moderation. If you are worried about gaining weight while on vacation, remember that weight gain is temporary and will disappear once you return home.
Carry a photo of yourself from a time when you were happy and feeling good
Looking at a photo of yourself from when you were happy and feeling good can help boost your mood if you are struggling while traveling. Remind yourself that you can have fun and be happy even when you are not in your comfort zone. Being on vacation is a time to relax and enjoy yourself, so try not to focus too much on your eating disorder.
Traveling can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be challenging for people with eating disorders. However, with a bit of planning and preparation, travelingwith an eating disorder can be much easier. So get out there and explore the world.